Halibut en Papillote with Carrot Top Pesto

Serves 2 | Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 20 minutes


  • 2 cups carrot tops, rinsed and dried
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 small leek, sliced once lengthwise, the cross cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 lb halibut, divided into 2 fillets
  • 1-2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine (or substitute chicken broth)
  • salt and pepper to taste


Reserve a few springs of carrot tops for the papillote.

Place the remaining carrots tops, basil, garlic, almond, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor, and process until smooth. With the food processor running, add the remaining olive oil slowly, until it is well blended. If you desire more creaminess, you may need to use a little more olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Swirl and soak the sliced leeks in a bowl of cool water, and let it sit to release any soil. Remove the leeks that have floated to the top and drain on some paper towels. Set aside.

Season halibut on both sides with salt and pepper.

Take two pieces of parchment paper, about 12×16 inches.  Fold in half along the longer side.  Place the leeks along the fold, then lay the fillets on top.  Arrange the carrots and the reserved carrot tops along the sides of the fish.  Spread about two tablespoons of the pesto on each fillet. Drizzle with wine or broth.

Fold the parchment paper, creating tight seams and making sure the ends are secure.  Place in a baking dish or pan and put in the oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Simply serve the fish in their packets, served with extra pesto, if you wish.

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